NEW YORK — Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is out for Sunday’s game against the Jets, and coach Brian Daboll could not answer in the affirmative on Friday if Jones will be able to play again this season.
“I appreciate the questions. I’m not going to give you an answer that I don’t have right now,” Daboll said, after avoiding several opportunities to assure Jones will be back.
This was dramatically different from Daboll’s unequivocal answer last week that Jones’ season is “not over.”
But this would follow the same pattern as Jones’ 2021 shutdown that the Giants initially conveyed as an optimistic, week-to-week neck injury with the same medical staff.
Giants P.R. did not allow Jones to do interviews when he was in the locker room Friday, so the quarterback had no opportunity to respond to Daboll’s comments or clarify them if he wished.
Daboll also revealed Jones has been taking scout team reps in practice since last week. Still, Jones was listed as questionable last week for the Washington game, and now he’s been ruled completely out on Friday for the Jets game.
So Tyrod Taylor will start a third straight game when the Giants (2-5) host the Jets (3-3) Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Taylor is 1-1 as the starter so far.
Daboll was asked Friday if his recent assertion that Jones’ season was “not over” was based on medical information or hope.
“I’m not going to go back to that,” the coach said. “Appreciate the question. I’d just say he’s getting better, and we’ll see where he is next week.”
So Daboll was asked again: does he think Jones will play again this year?
“He’s getting better, and we’ll see where he is next week,” Daboll said. “I don’t have a crystal ball with injuries, but he is getting better, and we’ll see where he is next week.”
Daboll was told that he was being much less declarative than he’d been previously.
“Yep,” he acknowledged.
So can can’t answer that in the affirmative?
“Again, I just go with the information that I get,” he said. “Today he was out. He’s getting better. We’ll see where he is next week.”
Daboll was reminded that in 2021, this is the exact same pattern that preceded Jones being shut down for the rest of the season.
“No, no. I appreciate the questions. I’m not going to give you an answer that I don’t have right now,” he said. “He’s getting better, and we’ll see where he is next week.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka said nothing revealing about Daboll taking over the Giants’ offensive meetings last week after three straight games of no touchdowns entering the Washington game.
“I’d say [Daboll] has been involved in really every aspect of the football team: offensively, defensively, special teams,” Kafka said. “I mean, you see him around the building in meetings whether it’s individually [or as a] group. And it’s a collaborative process, which has been the same since Day 1.”
It was not the same last week. It was different. But Kafka wasn’t going to say anything.
Offensive line coach Bobby Johnson, whose position group was one of Daboll’s focuses, acknowledged the head coach’s increased involvement. But Johnson said, “I have no problem with any of that stuff” and “if anything, it reinforced certain things” they were already emphasizing.
“It wasn’t like [the players reacted by saying] ‘Oh, now we’re going to listen to it,” Johnson said.
Quarterback coach Shea Tierney said Daboll “always has a high sense of urgency.”
Hackett and Pugh go way back
Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was Giants left tackle Justin’s OC at Syracuse in 2011 and 2012. They share a bond to this day.
“Pugh is awesome,” Hackett said Thursday. “We had a great experience at Syracuse together. We were together for three years and had a really great offense there and we loved every minute of it.”
“He was a huge part of that playing left tackle for us. I love that guy and I loved his introduction ‘straight off the couch.’ The good thing about him, he’s a baller. He doesn’t care what happens, he’s going to go out there and play and play hard.”
On Friday, Pugh said Hackett is “one of my favorite coaches of all time.”
“He’s the one that taught me about positive energy and bringing the morale [up],” Pugh said. “He’s the one that started it [for me] at Syracuse. He always has the best demeanor. And I’ve taken that little piece from him and added it into my game.”
McGaughey: MetLife wind is different
Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey attributed rookie Eric Gray’s difficulty fielding punts last Sunday in part to the demolition of the Meadowlands racetrack next to MetLife Stadium and its impact on wind patterns.
“I don’t see him losing any confidence, but again, it’s just one of those days,” McGaughey said. “It’s a windy day and it doesn’t help you, obviously. I mean you don’t feel good about it. That’s just something that you have to deal with knowing that you play in our stadium during this time of year. You are going to get wind gusts, especially when they knocked the race track down, the wind patterns changed in the stadium, so it’s just different.”
Speechless. Gray (calf) is now on injured reserve. The recently-signed Gunner Olszewski will handle punt return duties Sunday.
Franchise left tackle Andrew Thomas (left hamstring) is doubtful for Sunday and on track to miss his seventh straight game. Jones and running back Gary Brightwell (hamstring) are out. Five players are questionable: tight end Darren Waller (hamstring), edge Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee), right tackle Evan Neal (ankle), center John Michael Schmitz (shoulder) and corner Adoree Jackson (neck). Running back Saquon Barkley (elbow) was a full participant in Friday’s practice and came off the injury report.
With Antwan Staley